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The Prophet '08 Among Prophets

Jason

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Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #320 on: January 05, 2017, 08:45:29 AM »
I'm not sure there is an internal way to get the VCO sound out of the '08... But I applaud your efforts and will continue to try your suggestions!

When I listen to the simple VCO sound of the something like a OB-X, like in this video, I can't help wishing that I could get such a full, alive sound. Why can't someone develop an effect to give us a sound like that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQzth1wRO9Y

eXode

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Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #321 on: January 05, 2017, 02:09:30 PM »
There is no such feature on the P'08 afaik but fine control of the kbd tracking of the oscillators could probably have helped for a more imperfect "VCO" sound. MIDI Note routed -1 and +1 on OSC 1 and 2 respectively might get you there unless it's too coarse.

Also a polyphonic, bipolar random source would work very well obviously.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 02:13:18 PM by eXode »

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #322 on: January 05, 2017, 10:03:18 PM »
I'm not sure there is an internal way to get the VCO sound out of the '08... But I applaud your efforts and will continue to try your suggestions!

When I listen to the simple VCO sound of the something like a OB-X, like in this video, I can't help wishing that I could get such a full, alive sound. Why can't someone develop an effect to give us a sound like that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQzth1wRO9Y

Hmmm.  I listened to this video and thought the Prophet '08 does sound that good.  Certainly the filter sweeps differ between the two instruments, but otherwise, I wasn't overly impressed with the Oberheim over the P'08.

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #323 on: January 06, 2017, 10:26:07 AM »
I believe that VCOs sound the way they do is that the VCO has a small amount (+/- 0.02% or 0.39 cent on the Korg ARP Odyssey according to jdt9517's measurements) of random frequency variation. When you mix two of them they don't beat in a predictable way and therefore blend together. On the Prophet '08 the DCOs are so precise that when they are detuned they create a slow beating sound (jdt9517 described this as "phasing"). Additionally when you first press the key, the two oscillators are in phase on the Prophet '08 and then slowly move out of phase.

I suppose an effect to do the same thing would be a phasor with a tiny random phase. Is there any effects box that does this?

I think that the Behringer DeepMind 12 has some phase randomization built in to make the DCOs sound more VCO-like but I don't know the details. A higher resolution timer would help (I think the timer on the Prophet '08 uses is 15 bits).

Jason

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Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #324 on: January 06, 2017, 10:58:31 AM »
I believe that VCOs sound the way they do is that the VCO has a small amount (+/- 0.02% or 0.39 cent on the Korg ARP Odyssey according to jdt9517's measurements) of random frequency variation. When you mix two of them they don't beat in a predictable way and therefore blend together. On the Prophet '08 the DCOs are so precise that when they are detuned they create a slow beating sound (jdt9517 described this as "phasing"). Additionally when you first press the key, the two oscillators are in phase on the Prophet '08 and then slowly move out of phase.

I suppose an effect to do the same thing would be a phasor with a tiny random phase. Is there any effects box that does this?

So far, there doesn't seem to be an ideal way to do this internally. But what about the idea of doing this with a Prophet/Module pair... (perhaps with each in sync mode), with each taking the place of one oscillator? Maybe it could work by using slop on one of the boards and not on the other? ...or using slop (or something else) in different amounts on the two boards?   I detune one to -2 and the other to +2, which sounds great. But maybe there is a way to get one Prophet '08 synthesizer to act like one oscillator (of say an old Oberheim) and another to act like the other???
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 11:09:21 AM by Jason »

eXode

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Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #325 on: January 06, 2017, 11:14:49 AM »
I believe that VCOs sound the way they do is that the VCO has a small amount (+/- 0.02% or 0.39 cent on the Korg ARP Odyssey according to jdt9517's measurements) of random frequency variation. When you mix two of them they don't beat in a predictable way and therefore blend together. On the Prophet '08 the DCOs are so precise that when they are detuned they create a slow beating sound (jdt9517 described this as "phasing"). Additionally when you first press the key, the two oscillators are in phase on the Prophet '08 and then slowly move out of phase.

I never heard the two oscillators on the Prophet '08 start in phase in the manner that I normally associate the term "start in phase" to.

Regarding VCO's, there's not just drift. In some cases there is something that could be described as jitter as well, and like I've already touched upon VCO's usually don't track consistently over the octaves, there's almost always small variations and when you have two VCO's or more you'll have variation between them on top of that, because of small variances in their tracking.

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #326 on: March 22, 2017, 10:59:19 AM »
I hope it isn't bad to resurrect this thread. First, I'd rather not have the last post be a rebuttal to misinformation I posted. My apologies, and thanks eXode for setting the record straight.

But I also wanted to mention that I just purchased a Tascam DP-32SD digital multitrack recorder. This single box also can act as a mixer, eq, and basic effects. So I finally have been able to use Sacred Synthesis's trick with using Layer A on the left and Layer B on the right with reverb. I used this trick with a modified version of the T8 Strings patch.

The sense of space is really incredible, and using both layers definitely makes the strings sound even more like an ensemble. My goal is to multitrack some of my favorite orchestral pieces using just the Prophet and the Tascam (like what Strange Quark Star did with the intro to the Nutcracker—amazing!). But now I'm hankering to get a Prophet '08 module so I can get more voices in the ensemble to get more power and impact.

Sacred Synthesis mentioned that he was working on getting a big brass ensemble from the P'08. I wonder if he or anyone else has been successful.

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #327 on: March 22, 2017, 11:20:03 AM »
Tumble2K,

You've been bitten by the stereo bug, and you'll never ever recover!  At the same time, congratulations and I apologize. 

Two things: first, I've had my eye on the Tascam DP- 24SD for a year now, and I'm sure the 32 version that you've got is more or less the same.  Could you tell me your thoughts on it?  Is the final product a moderate or high-quality recording?  Is it superior to CD quality?  And second, I did do a monster brass recording using one Prophet '08 keyboard and two module versions, and it's here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IotEYek6gv4.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 11:32:45 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #328 on: March 22, 2017, 12:23:29 PM »
I just got the DP-32SD used with a very good discount. I missed a chance to get the DP-24SD for $305 from Guitar Center before they discontinued it. The DP-32SD is supposed to be exactly the same as the DP-24SD with extra tracks.

I can't tell you if it's superior to CD quality. I do record in 24-bit at 48kHz, so in theory it should be better. The one test I do is to compare the sound to the sound when the digital electronics are bypassed. Usually I hear the sound get metallic, which I find very unpleasant. I will try this test with the Tascam some time this week.

The best thing about the Tascam is that I have a professional set of recording tools without having to resort to the computer. Laying down tracks is easy, editing appears to be pretty decent too.

I just listened to your brass ensemble. That does sound pretty massive! I assume you set it up as 8 x 3 voices? So you have six oscillators per note?

My approach will probably to use two Prophet '08s stacked for 4 x 4 voices with eight oscillators per note. If you can get that mass out of six I think I can be successful.

One thing I also want to get is the punch. In Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony first movement, there are brass punches that I feel in the gut. I'll give it a try with the 4 x 2 setup on the single Prophet '08 to see how close I can get.

Thanks for sharing your piece. It's truly lovely.

Edit: Okay I read your comments more closely. You were using 4 x 6 voices. You're always pushing me to get more equipment. Drat!
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 12:32:03 PM by tumble2k »

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #329 on: March 22, 2017, 12:41:04 PM »
Thanks, Tumble2K.  The piece of music actually uses the three Prophet '08 units in stack mode, so the patch consists of twelve oscillators per note and only four voices.  I was deliberately pushing the system to its limits to test the sonic potential.

As you get more familiar with the Tascam, I'll be interested to here more of your thoughts on it, especially about the audio quality.  I'm presently using a Tascam CD-RW900 Mk II for direct mixer to recorder live recording.  It works well and the audio quality is good, but I'm always looking for a better means of simple live recording without a computer.

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #330 on: March 26, 2017, 04:04:53 PM »
I just realized I can get an ensemble sound by recording two tracks with the same music but slightly different voices.

Anyway, there's one thing that you might not like about the DP-24SD. If you record on a stereo track and you want to use your Lexicon reverb as a send effect, the stereo tracks don't have a way to have the left and right channels going to separate effect sends. The DP-24SD has two sends, send1 and send2 along with two returns. For stereo tracks, the two tracks are sent equally to both sends.

In order to do the send properly you need to use the mono tracks and turn the send1 level up on the "left" track and the send2 level up on the "right" track. The DP-24SD has 12 mono tracks so this isn't a huge problem. The six stereo tracks can be used as mono tracks too, which would give you 18 total tracks, and not the full advertised 24.

Anyway before I derail the topic completely, I'm finding that multi tracking the Prophet '08 gives me the studio I've dreamed about since I was in high school in the very early 80's.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 04:06:39 PM by tumble2k »

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #331 on: April 05, 2017, 12:24:12 AM »
hi.   first post here.

in the last 3 years i became a synth freak. had like 30-40 of them.
a few Moogs, a few rolands, a few Korgs, Vermona. waldorf, aruturia and  so many others. Top synth Like The Voyager, Performer MkII , juno 106 and others

One of my biggest mistakes was selling the Prophet 8.
after 2 years i now bought it again.
this time. after so much synths that i had or have.. i know so much more about synth sound and abilities.

at for sound, the Prophet 08 is THE BEST Poly SYNTH in My opinion. by Far.

in the last few days that i play with this synth again i know that this synth is staying for good.
if u knew me youll know that it is a big thing in my studio.


Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #332 on: April 05, 2017, 09:16:42 AM »
Congratulation, Idobb, on getting another Prophet '08.  I appreciate your enthusiasm.  Yes, she's a superb sounding instrument.

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #333 on: April 05, 2017, 12:16:37 PM »
idobb this is good news for me because I have known no other polysynths other than the Prophet '08 (and the Mutable Instruments Ambika, which was very difficult to use). I have often wondered if I had made the correct choice. Should I have gotten a Prophet 6 or Deepmind 12? I guess for me I come back to the overall brightness of the sound. I think that the smooth dark sounds of some vintage poly synths is nice, but when you're trying to make classical sounding instruments like I am, you need some high frequency action. The Prophet '08 seems to be very good in the highs: clean and clear without digital hash.

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #334 on: April 05, 2017, 01:02:35 PM »
...But when you're trying to make classical sounding instruments like I am, you need some high frequency action. The Prophet '08 seems to be very good in the highs: clean and clear without digital hash.

I have to ask you about those "classical sounding instruments."  Do you mean classical sounding synthesizers, or traditional acoustic instruments?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 01:04:23 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #335 on: April 05, 2017, 01:22:33 PM »
I meant traditional classical acoustic instruments. My impression is that vintage synths are too bloated and dark to sound like classical acoustic instruments. I love the sound of old Moogs and stuff, but it's not what I'm trying to create, and it's not necessarily good combined with other instruments. Is that what is meant by "sitting well in a mix?"

The advantage the Prophet '08 has over a ROMpler is that I can quickly and easily modify the articulation of the sound without having to switch samples. Granted the sound won't be as realistic, but I feel that with samples you start to get this Uncanny Valley effect where the sound is so much like the real thing that small differences become jarringly obvious. It takes more and more work to fix these differences until it becomes all you do.

The analog nature of the Prophet '08 has a couple of advantages too. For one, it has a good amount of dynamic impact, like a real instrument. In other words, it's not always polite and subdued. Also I'm never wondering if the sound is thin because some aliasing is interfering with the harmonics.

You should ask, Sacred Synthesis. You're a huge sound design influence on me.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 01:27:51 PM by tumble2k »

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #336 on: April 05, 2017, 01:53:20 PM »
I meant traditional classical acoustic instruments. My impression is that vintage synths are too bloated and dark to sound like classical acoustic instruments. I love the sound of old Moogs and stuff, but it's not what I'm trying to create, and it's not necessarily good combined with other instruments. Is that what is meant by "sitting well in a mix?"

The advantage the Prophet '08 has over a ROMpler is that I can quickly and easily modify the articulation of the sound without having to switch samples. Granted the sound won't be as realistic, but I feel that with samples you start to get this Uncanny Valley effect where the sound is so much like the real thing that small differences become jarringly obvious. It takes more and more work to fix these differences until it becomes all you do.

The analog nature of the Prophet '08 has a couple of advantages too. For one, it has a good amount of dynamic impact, like a real instrument. In other words, it's not always polite and subdued. Also I'm never wondering if the sound is thin because some aliasing is interfering with the harmonics.

You should ask, Sacred Synthesis. You're a huge sound design influence on me.

That's a very well-stated point.
Sequential / DSI / Pioneer stuff: Prophet-12 desktop, Pro-2, AS-1, Prophet-600 Gligli, Prophet 2000

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #337 on: April 05, 2017, 02:00:53 PM »
I meant traditional classical acoustic instruments. My impression is that vintage synths are too bloated and dark to sound like classical acoustic instruments. I love the sound of old Moogs and stuff, but it's not what I'm trying to create, and it's not necessarily good combined with other instruments. Is that what is meant by "sitting well in a mix?"

The advantage the Prophet '08 has over a ROMpler is that I can quickly and easily modify the articulation of the sound without having to switch samples. Granted the sound won't be as realistic, but I feel that with samples you start to get this Uncanny Valley effect where the sound is so much like the real thing that small differences become jarringly obvious. It takes more and more work to fix these differences until it becomes all you do.

The analog nature of the Prophet '08 has a couple of advantages too. For one, it has a good amount of dynamic impact, like a real instrument. In other words, it's not always polite and subdued. Also I'm never wondering if the sound is thin because some aliasing is interfering with the harmonics.

You should ask, Sacred Synthesis. You're a huge sound design influence on me.

I'm honored.  And I agree with your comments.  Several years ago, I had a Moog Voyager Old School, and I found that it mixed terribly with my DSI synthesizers - stood out like a sore thumb.  Contrary to this, the Prophet '08 goes a long way in the area we're discussing.  As simple as it is, it still has a lot to offer when designing natural acoustic sounds, even if these are not imitations of existing instruments.  And the Evolvers mix wonderfully with the P'08.  A nice little electronic ensemble that can sound most musical and natural with tasteful and meticulous programming.

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #338 on: April 06, 2017, 01:59:49 AM »
Quote
The advantage the Prophet '08 has over a ROMpler is that I can quickly and easily modify the articulation of the sound without having to switch samples.

Yes !

Quote
For one, it has a good amount of dynamic impact, like a real instrument. In other words, it's not always polite and subdued.

Yes again !

IMHO exactly this makes the very difference between a piece of electronics and a musical instrument.
Sonic facilities in combination with the possibility to "quickly and easily modify the articulation" make it possible or even encourage to walk the line between genius and madness: Similar to intruments like violin or electric guitar, the "best" sounds are achieved close to the border of catastrophe (feedbacks, formants/resonances, You name it).
Having this at hands - and ears! - makes the P'08 really shine for me.

Martin

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #339 on: April 18, 2017, 06:05:57 PM »
There is an area in between traditional acoustic instruments and the synthesizer that is of special interest.  Although my exposure to electronic music now consists entirely of YouTube demonstration videos (I don't ever list to synthesizer music on the stereo, but only sacred and classical) so that I'm anything but an expert in synthesizer music, as far as I know, this sonic area is fairly unexplored and generally not of interest to folks.  I can only describe it a being 100% synthesizer, and yet, strongly reminiscent of acoustic instruments.  It also effects the way I categorize sound programs on my instruments.  For example, I'll typically have groups of ten programs each named according to a pre-existing acoustic instrument - reed, flute, piano - but the various programs in each group will not actually attempt to imitate the reeds, flute, or piano.  So, the term "reeds" is used only as a general tonal description, meaning only, "sort of reedy."  The programs will be named "Reed 1," Reed 2" etc..  My point is, the synthesizer has the wonderful potential to make sweetly natural and musical tones that sound familiar because they do fit into familiar sonic categories, and yet, are entirely new sounds.  So, what is a Reed 3?  It's a synthesizer program that sounds a bit like an oboe, but definitely is not an oboe, and yet, can be used like an oboe because it sounds similar and quite natural.  What is a PWM Piano?  It's a synthesizer program that sounds a bit like a piano and a bit like a harpsichord, but is definitely neither, and yet, can be used very naturally like both.  The key is in the many natural sounding nuances of the patch, avoiding anything overtly electronic sounding, and in designing each patch to exactly suit the piece of music you're making. 

One of the most popular nuances these days seems to be Slop.  Personally, I find it to be anything but natural sounding, and never use it; it sounds too forced to me.  The important nuances I use are: both subtle and dramatic dynamic changes, smooth delayed vibrato, faint phasing of various types, an opening of the filter as one ascends the keyboard, a very modest use of resonance except when in 2-pole filter mode, a constant stereo field but with no panning back and forth, and - most unpopular of all - avoiding anything course or bizarre.  With these nuances used as a sort of guide ("rules"), the unnatural and unmusical (yes, that's in my judgment) are avoided, and a whole world of sound that seems often missed by the synthesist awaits to be discovered - sounds that are so very oboe-like, violin-like, flute-like, and so on.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 06:14:14 PM by Sacred Synthesis »